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Shop 53 rue Saint André des Arts, Paris 6th - Email: Hello@charlie-paris.com - Tel: 0967411237

Store 53 rue Saint André des Arts, Paris 6th - Email: Hello@charlie-paris.com - Tel: 0967411237

Automatic movement of a watch: How does it work?

In watchmaking, there are two main types of watch movements: mechanical movements and quartz movements. Among the mechanical movements we find the movements with manual winding and those with automatic winding, more commonly called automatic watch. But what is a movement? How does the movement of an automatic watch work? Don't worry, Charlie Paris enlightens you on the mechanical movement with automatic winding through its Made in France watches

  1. What is a watch movement?

  2. The components of an automatic watch movement

  3. How an automatic watch movement works


1. What is a watch movement?

The movement of a watch is the mechanism that allows a watch to work. At Charlie Paris, we get our supplies from different manufacturers in order to create men's watches and ladies watches quality: Citizen, a Japanese manufacture for automatic movements; and Ronda, a Swiss manufacture for our Quartz watches.The major Swiss watch brands generally have their own manufacture, which is why their prices are very high. 

For our watches, we use two main families of movements:
  • Quartz watch movementswhich are simple mechanisms and work with a battery. These movements have the advantage of being the most precise.
  • TheMechanical watch movements use wheels and springs to operate with kinetic energy. That is, the energy that a body possesses as a result of its movement. The latter are more complex to manufacture and design, and are the favorites of watch enthusiasts and collectors.They prove real know-how. Our men's automatic watches, and our automatic watches woman all feature the Japanese Citizen movement.
For more information on the differences between Mechanical and Quartz movements we have written an article on the subject, find it on our watch blog.


2. The components of an automatic watch movement

To fully understand how an automatic watch movement works, you must first learn about its main components!

Here are its main components:
- Therotor: it is the oscillating weight of the mechanism. Clearly it is a semi-circle shaped weight attached to the movement. It rotates 360 ° according to the movements of the wrist and allows, thanks to a series of mechanisms, to wind the barrel spring, thus providing mechanical energy to the watch.
- Thecrowned: This is the small wheel located on the right side of your watch. It is attached to the winding shaft and is used to wind the mainspring.
- Thebarrel spring: It is an elastic band of steel that provides the energy necessary for movement when it is armed, that is, stretched.
- Thetransmission system(cog): It transmits the energy accumulated in the mainspring to the escapement wheel via a series of small wheels.
 - The escapement wheel: Its function is to release the energy conveyed by the cogs to the anchor, intermittently and regularly. This is the watch's maintenance organ.
- Thependulum: This is the heart of the movement. It beats between 5 and 10 times per second in a circular fashion. It was he who caused the "ticking" sound produced by the paddles on the teeth of the escapement wheel due to its back and forth movement. It is the regulating organ of movement.
- Theruby: These are very hard stones that reduce friction and wear on the components of the mechanism.

3. How an automatic watch movement works

Now that you are familiar with the main components of mechanical movement, how does an automatic movement actually work?

Here are the six main steps to better understand how the hands of your watch turn:

1. The movements of the wrist turn the rotor and thus wind the mainspring. Winding can also be done by turning the crown;
2. The transmission system transfers energy to the escape wheel;
3. The exhaust measures the energy in regular sections;
     4. The pendulum uses this regular energy to beat back and forth constantly;
5. With each series of beats, a series of wheels transfer energy to the hands of the clock;
    6. The hands advance on the dial.

Our watches with automatic movement include a balance that recharges the barrel spring by wrist movements. Thus, if the watch is worn regularly, there will be no need to wind it manually.

Automatic watches have a nice aesthetic advantage. This is because the seconds hand does not jump a second but many more small jumps. Everything is more linear.

automatic movement operation

french watch